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POLICY FORMULATION IN AFRICA: A REGIONAL OVERVIEW AND COUNTRY CASE STUDY ON EGYPT Prof. Nadia Hegazi Consultant to Minister of ICT Consultant to Minister of Education March 2004
The Main Concern is: n n n To create and activate the knowledge economy focused on extending Internet connectivity in the African states. To generate growth through translating connectivity into economic activities stimulating services, applications and content that create new markets and reduce costs and eventually increase productivity throughout the economy. Collaboate previous efforts and presenting guidelines for critical areas
Aspects of the African Information Society n n n Capacity Building, human resource development, education and training. E-Government and serving the citizens. Cultural Diversity and Supporting Multilingual Content.
Aspects of African Information Society Cont’d n n n Building a regional information infrastructure and info-structure Trade, Commerce, research and development and Piracy in ICT. Security Issues.
Suggested Strategies and Policies To achieve a real information society, governments need to develop and implement regional policies that: n n Access: by making information, communication, and their underlying technologies central to the development of the region. Awareness: by making information, communication, and their underlying technologies known, available to and accessible by the public,
Strategies and Policies: Cont’d n n n Using of not only innovative private-public partnerships between government and the private sector but also partnerships with civil society and nongovernmental organizations; E-Learning: Promote ICT education in schools and universities and ICT skills training in the workplace. Establishing a benchmark, using relevant, realistic indicators
Strategies and Policies: Cont’d n n E-Government: Ensure Governments’ understanding and use of ICT at all levels to promote efficiency and transparency and provide cost-effective ICT-based information services to citizens. Ensure that best practices are followed and ICT experiences are exchanged horizontally across countries within African states and with the international ICT community.
Regional Policies: Cont’d n n Ensure adequate planning of infrastructure to enable the region to embrace new communication modalities. Actively develop information systems to enhance health services and to foster employment, economic growth, and rural development by the year 2010.
Regional Policies: Cont’d n n Fostering the creation of an environment that will allow, by the year 2008, the capacity to trade goods and services by electronic means (e-commerce), Provide, through a competitive market environment, universal access to information and communication facilities,
The opportunity n n The information society is an excellent chance for : Developing other sectors Developing an ICT sector by itself Socio economic development
Urgency of Regional Integration n Regional integration is believed to be an essential condition to cut down on the cost of ICT services and provide better security
Urgency of Regional Integration Creating Regional Network: n n This network is based on centers to transfer data, and focal Internet exchanges in the region. Such centers are the corner stones and base of this network. Data centers and exchanges require fast connecting lines of fiber optics to link such points together.
Urgency of Regional Integration: Cont’d n n This regional network is connected, on one hand, with corresponding ones in other regions (such as Europe, Asia, and others) On the other hand, this network is connected with national networks of the region.
Urgency of Regional Integration: Cont’d n n n The African Network will make use of innovations such as wireless fidelity commonly known as Wi-Fi and other low cost technologies and business models. African states should make use of the existing fiber optics network in the region to establish regional backbone. The e-africa Commission is running a project to have the sea cable in the east coast ready for 2005
Building a Regional Information Infrastructure and Info-structure n n Bulk purchase of International bandwidth to reduce cost of internet connectivity to the international backbone through coordination with the e-Africa commission. Establishing own data centers or will set peering agreements with the existing data centers in the region, thus preventing regional communication from passing into other regions
Building a Regional Information Infrastructure and Info-structure n n Finalize the establishment of Afri. NIC the African address registry. Encourage e-business and content development to achieve a fair formula for payment for internet connection which should only be based on half a circuit and not both circuits in country and in termination country.
Building a Regional Information Infrastructure and Info-structure n n The Top level domain "Africa" should be delegated to e-Africa Commission. Support the operation of a root server in Africa as part of e-Africa to participate in all aspects of the Internet. Promote the establishment of Uniform Domain name dispute-Resolution policy UDRP service to provide for Internet domain names disputed in Africa Create a regulator consortium through a formal organization such as NEPAD with the help of the e -Africa Commission
Capacity Building: Human Resources Development, Education, and Training. n n n Priority must be given to Training the Trainers in order to ensure the long-term impact in this area as well as handson training, especially for women and young professionals in developing countries. Training of regulators The provision of support for the production and distribution of multimedia, modular training course materials and information processing tools, based on the model of open source software. Run a survey of supply and demand for e-skills and make it public on the information portal to be established Encourage the establishment of the African Diaspora Network
Illiteracy Eradication n n Ensure that a renewed, concerted effort is made to tackle and substantially reduce illiteracy by the year 2008, using all available methods and media, including television and leveraging on the investment made on community telecentres; The use of ICT should be dedicated to illiteracy eradication. Technologies such as CD Rom, radio and TV or a mix of them can be combined with the Internet to extend its reach. Radio can be used as a gateway to the Internet for its listeners in remote rural communities
Egyptian model for Affordable PCs and access Free internet n Affordable PCs n IT CLUBS n
No. of subscribers million 11. 0 10. 5 10. 0 9. 5 9. 0 8. 5 8. 0 7. 5 7. 0 6. 5 6. 0 5. 5 5. 0 4. 5 4. 0 3. 5 3. 0 11. 1 million 8. 5 million No. of fixed lines 96 97 98 99 2000 2001 2002 4. 7 million new lines since October 1999 Sept. 2003
No. of subscribers, million The number of subscribers increased more than eight folds since October 1999
No. of Internet Users Million International internet traffic increased from 20 Mb/s to 900 Mb/s in 2 years
million L. E Source: The General Authority For Investment & Free Zones
§ Transforming ARENTO into Telecom Egypt by law 19 for the year 1998. § Establishment of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority by presidential decree number 101 for the year 1998. § A new telecommunications law that promotes: § Transparency in licensing. § Phased deregulation of services. § Establishment of a universal fund to accelerate tariff rebalance.
Establishing E-Government systems and providing E-Government services n n Setup a Regional E-government Institute to foster and promote e-government, provide advice and conduct research. The Institute will adopt a multidimensional approach to e-government, addressing its legal, technological (ICT) and administrative aspects, and focus on policies and processes necessary to deploy e-government services. The Institute should be operative by the year 2006. Conduct regional training of decision makers to enable a better understanding the dynamics of e-government;
Trade and commerce in the Information Society n n n The implementation of a regional root Certificate of Authority (Co. A); Multilateral and/or bilateral agreements on electronic commerce and trade; Facilitation of regional transport and shipping mechanisms to accelerate the movement of goods; and most importantly, The adoption of uniform legislations to protect the rights of the consumers and operators and establish policies and guidelines for electronic commerce. The African states with their rich culture and history should invest in e-services and offer user friendly public information for culture and tourism.
ICT Funding and cooperation
Research and Development n n n Research areas need 1 -Design and implementation of low cost computers and wireless connectivity as well as prepaid chip - card software for ecommerce without credit cards. 2 -Low cost fuel cells on photo voltaic for decentralized electricity supply.
VISIT EGYPTs WEB SITE AT n http: //www. mcit. gov. eg n You can find all the projects and the egyptian information society initiative “Building Digital Bridges” n Also visit the web site for all the Egyptian companiesat http: //citegypt. com n Visit the TELECOM AFRICA at http: //www. itu. int/itutelecom n For any enquiries contact me at [email protected] gov. eg n